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How to launch Facebook Ad Targeting: step-by-step instructions

Every day Facebook is visited by 1,49 billion users. That’s why business actively uses this platform for promotion. In the article, we will discuss targeted advertising in this social media and will provide step-by-step guidance on its customization.

What is targeted advertising

Despite the fact that targeted advertising is popular, some people still don’t understand what is it and confuse it with other promotion types. Thus, let’s clarify this question.

Targeted advertising in social media is advertisements that users see in the news feed or their pages. Such advertisements can be customized considering different metrics: gender, age, city and country, professions, interests. Thus, advertisements will be shown only to your target audience.

An example of targeted advertising

Targeted advertising does not include:

That’s why there is no sense to refer to a specialist in targeted advertising, hoping to receive all promotion services in social media. He won’t manage your brand page or “drive” subscribers there.

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Review of the account for launching targeted advertising on Facebook

By its structure, the advertising account looks like a similar Google Ads account. Ads on Facebook and Instagram are launching from one Facebook advertising account. It is provided according to the same algorithms with identical rules and specifics of work. Therefore, everything we will describe on advertisements on Facebook is as well related to Instagram.

Settings here are also provided on three levels:

Only ad objectives are chosen on the campaign level. If it is required, the budget is set, the duration, and the campaign spending limit.

On the ad sets for 1 campaign level are provided all targeting settings:

Creatives are added on the ads for 1 campaign level — image, video or text. A link to a landing if we are talking about ads that are designed to boost traffic on a website.

Targeting settings 

Here, the targeted advertising settings fundamentally differ from paid ads. The location is the first thing that has to be indicated. You can choose one country or several, separate cities or even a radius around a specific area. Then set age, gender, and language.

At the stage of the detailed targeting customization, you can already set a lot of metrics:

Example of the audience customization in the Facebook ad account

Audiences can be reduced by additional metrics or some targeting parameters can be as well excluded from it. If you promote a restaurant that serves steaks you can easily exclude vegans from your targeting.

Besides so-called “cold targeting” it is possible to use personalized audiences. They are formed based on the website visitors, lists of customers, people who interacted with your page, etc.

Ad campaign objectives

The most popular objective of targeted advertising is traffic. However, besides it, there are others that are no less effective and used for various tasks.

Brand awareness. It allows displaying ads to the maximum amount of people or to a specific audience as many times as possible.

Engagement. It is used to promote an existing publication to obtain maximum outreach and involvement: likes, comments, reposts.

App installs. It is rather evident that the objective of this advertisement is to promote the app.

Video views. Allows receiving the maximum number of video views. It is suitable for the first stage of launching a new product on the market. Firstly, in the video, you describe a product or service. Then gather together an audience of people who have watched your video —  as they have already got acquainted with your product. And, all in all, on the second stage, you launch direct advertising for this audience.

Lead generation. This objective is for you If you do not have a website but you need to test the demand for a product. Similarly, if you have a landing page and you need to compare the effectiveness of different advertising methods. After clicking on the ad, a user sees brief information and a form to enter the data. Using this form, the advertiser collects contacts of potential customers and then directly works with them.

Messages. This objective allows attracting users directly to the chat in Messenger and it does not require a website as well. Furthermore, you can communicate directly with the user or connect a flow bot.

Conversions. Here there is no difference for a user with the “Traffic” advertising as he also transfers on the website. The difference is in optimization only. The campaign with traffic algorithms is oriented on people who visit your website and ads are displayed to those who are more likely to visit it. During advertisement with the “Conversion” objective, the system analyzes users that are made a required target action. Based on this data, Facebook is choosing the audience for the following display of advertisements.

Catalog sales. Most often, this objective is used by online stores with a large number of products. It allows you to generate ads based on catalog cards. This is also used for the dynamic remarketing. 

Store visits. Uses to promote offline business — beauty salons, restaurants.

How to customize targeted ad on Facebook

Let’s set an example of how to create a campaign with the most common objective — traffic. Open Ads Manager, click on “Create a new campaign” and choose objective “Traffic”.

Giving a name to the first ad set, advertisement, and saving a draft. If it is needed, set the budget and duration period of the campaign. However, it is usually made on the ad set level. And we are moving to its settings.

Choice of the budget. Here we have two options: daily or lifetime budget. It is easier to manage the daily budget — increasing or decreasing it, depending on the situation.

The launch date is set automatically by the day the ad set was created, however, the advertisement won’t work until you turn on the campaign. If it is required to start a display on a specific day — schedule the needed date. The same situation is with the end date. It is possible to plan it ahead or not to set it at all.

Next, we switch to the audience settings. And the first thing that is offered to choose — create a new audience or use a saved one.

If you do not plan to use it, skip this section and go to the cold audiences settings. The first thing you need to set is the location.

Locations. First of all, you need to choose whom you are planning to address in this area: everyone in this location, people who live there, people recently there or people traveling there. Then set the region itself — it may be a country, city or a specific radius around the set point on the map (starting from 1 km). You can add regions, and exclude certain areas from already selected ones.

It seems like no one would have difficulties with age and gender. 

Talking about the language, it is always better to set exactly the language of the advertisement or a landing page.

Detailed targeting 

Here you set the criteria that your audience has to comply with. It is possible to choose interests from the drop-down list by clicking on the “Browse” or by entering them manually.

You can also set family status, education level, life events, hobbies and interests, the scope of work, different preferences, mobile device model or operating system of a computer, behavior, etc. Interests can also be excluded or narrow.

Connections. Using this option, you can customize the display of advertising only to people who like your page, friends of people who like your page, or completely exclude them from targeting. It is also possible to configure connections with an event or an app. After audience creation, it can be saved so you will use it in the future.


In this field, you indicate the places where the advertisement will be displayed. When you select automatic placements the system itself will choose where to display ads. We won’t stop on separate placements — while placing a cursor on the needed point you will see the description and clear example.

Optimization and delivery

The last thing you need to do in the ad set settings is to establish the parameters that the system will base on while selecting an audience for displaying ads. In this case, you can set an optimization by clicks, landing page views, impressions, and daily unique reach. If it is required, you can set the cost control. But at an early stage, it is better to follow the minimal cost strategy.

Advertisement settings 

This stage is the last one. Here you set what the user sees: image, text, headline, the link description and the link to the landing page itself.

The process of creation of the advertisement ends here. Then it is possible to add new sets and advertisements to the campaign, launch and optimize them.

How to understand that your ad worked out?

Use analytics. Facebook provides the Facebook Pixel that is an analytical tool that helps to measure the effectiveness of the advertising. It can be used in order to understand people’s behavior who are taking on your website and reach audiences you care about. Moreover, Ringostat is integrated with both Facebook and Facebook Pixel. Due to the integration with the first one, you receive actual data on spends on promotion from the perspective of ad campaigns. After the integration configuration, the data on cost are automatically transferred and calculations happen within seconds.

Ringostat easily fixes the gap in analytics due to the integration with Facebook Pixel. If a visitor enters the website but made a purchase by phone, the tool won’t track it and will consider that there was no conversion. However, Ringostat transfers the information on this conversion to Facebook as a “Contact” standard event. 

You can also use Ringostat end-to-end analytics that automatically counts ROI for you. This is an instrument, a global update provided by our service that gives an understanding of advertising channels that performed better than others. Thus, you always know how to better allocate the ad budget.

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  1. Targeted advertising, as well as contextual advertising, is suitable almost for everyone. Nevertheless, the peculiarities of promotion via these tools are totally different. In the case of search paid ads, we work with the formed demand — our offer is displayed to people who are already looking for a specific product or service. In the targeted advertisement, we form an audience based on the location data and other interests.
  2. The main difficulty is that we can only assume that the chosen audience will be interested in our product. Anyway, this is just a hypothesis, the correctness of which can be verified by a test only.
  3. There are obvious advantages, for example, the amount of possible traffic. The number of requests by search of a specific product or service is limited in paid ads. In targeted advertising you can work with a wider audience, increasing the number of potential customers.
  4. Targeted advertising works great for products with unformed demand. For example, if you organize an event and want to involve a public. But people don’t know about it yet, that’s why they don’t search for it in search systems. You can reach this audience only via targeted and display advertising.
  5. Facebook advertising account has a lot of features to work with. While choosing an ad campaign for a certain business, you need to consider lots of metrics and test different theories.
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